The Diocese of Hereford has got behind a Church of England, West Midlands campaign, calling for churches to take a more sustainable approach to flower arranging and stop using floral foam (also known as ‘oasis’) in church flower displays.
Last Thursday, a motion was passed by Diocesan Synod to discourage the use of floral foam and actively encourage churches to use seasonal flowers in church displays.
Charlie Houston, who proposed the motion, said: “This initiative began in Worcester Diocese and is actively supported by the Bishop of Dudley, The Rt Revd Martin Gorrick. It is growing in popularity as many parishes across The Church of England realise it is a small and easy step forward in our commitment towards tackling the climate crisis and reducing the use of harmful products. Here in Hereford Diocese, the Synod took up the challenge, and this is a significant step forward. Encouraging churches to stop using floral foam is one change we can all make to reduce single-use plastics. We can use alternatives such as chicken wire which is reusable and doesn’t break down into microplastics and pollute the earth.”
Floral foam is made of plastic which easily crumbles into microscopic fragments, and it is not compostable. The foam is generally used wet, and after being soaked, wastewater is typically discarded into the sink or drain, adding to the problem of microplastic contamination in aquatic environments.
In addition to encouraging alternatives to foam, the synod motion encourages churches to use seasonal flowers and foliage in church displays, as opposed to flowers often grown in Kenya or Peru using up scarce water resources and flown in via Holland.
To find out more, visit www.suschurchflowers.com